Toronto or bust
Grise Fiord students to raise $30,000 for trip

NNSL (Oct 25/99) - When the residents of Grise Fiord rolled into the $10-a-plate spaghetti dinner last Friday night, they did so to help bring different cultures into the lives of their children.

"Hopefully, most people will come," said Susie Kiguktak, a Grade 12 student who is trying, through events like the pasta party and other catchy fund-raisers, to scrape together $30,000 for a trip to Toronto, Ont.

A brainstorm of teacher Andrea Cameron, the two-week trip will introduce Umimmak school students to different ways of life.

"The focus of the trip is multiculturalism. I want them to learn about different types of cultures and different types of art and history," said Cameron.

Because she wants to include all 15 of her senior students, Cameron said that she and her fellow travellers had to raise enough cash for the May trip over the next eight months. Hard at work since school began earlier this fall, they have almost $4,000 in the bank. That includes the money raised through the weekend's spaghetti dinner -- $2,000 of that sum was committed by Iqaluit's Legion.

"We raised $894 this year at the dinner. Everybody in the community came and we were on fire," said Cameron.

Nineteen-year-old Kiguktak added that they had a number of other tricks up their sleeves to bring in more cash.

"We've been having jewelry sales, bake sales, movie nights and we've been asking different places to help us out with the fund-raising. We're also going to have a jailbreak."

Kiguktak said just thinking about the trip made her extremely excited and that excursions to Toronto's museums and art galleries were at the top of her list.

Fourteen-year-old Jimmy Nungaq has the same gung-ho attitude about Toronto's culture, but admitted that he wanted a side trip to Canada's Wonderland.

"I would love to go on a rollercoaster. I did before and at first it was really scary, but I liked it," said Nungaq.

For Cameron, the idea of having to pack in all wants and needs of the 15 students in a city the size of Toronto is a little daunting, but she said she was confident it would go well.

"The kids are so enthusiastic. Our attendance is up, the academics are higher. They really want to go. They're working pretty hard to get there and I have faith that they'll be good," said Cameron.

She hoped other organizations and businesses she had written to for donations also saw the trip as a worthwhile experience for the students and admitted she was really anticipating introducing them to all the city had to offer.

"I've been teaching them a lot of history and art history and I'm really looking forward to actually showing them what they've been learning about. I'm really looking forward to seeing that come to life and being with them when they see new things."